Washtenaw County Health Department encourages COVID-19 reminders and flu shots for fall

YPSILANTI – With the colder months and the holiday season approaching, it’s time to get your flu shot and boost COVID-19.

Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD) officials are encouraging community members to stay informed about COVID-19 booster shots and flu shots to protect their own health and the health of others.

“COVID-19 is still circulating locally and we are heading into flu season,” WCHD Medical Director Dr. Juan Marquez said in a statement. “Vaccination can protect against serious illness, hospitalizations and death from influenza and COVID-19, while reducing the overall spread of disease locally. Getting vaccinated can also protect those around you, including those who are more vulnerable such as babies and young children, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses.

Annual flu shots are recommended for anyone 6 months and older. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated before the end of October.

Numerous flu cases and hospitalizations were recorded between April and June this summer, officials said. Two hospitalizations have already been reported since the start of the 2022-2023 flu season on September 25, according to the WCHD dashboard.

As of October 3, more than 130,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to community members. People over the age of 5 who have completed their first round of COVID-19 vaccines may also receive boosters.

Officials said the updated bivalent booster protects against two strains of coronavirus.

“COVID-19 vaccines continue to be highly protective in preventing the worst outcomes of COVID, but we know vaccine effectiveness can decline over time,” Marquez said. “That’s why it’s essential that everyone is up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. The further you get from your last dose, the more important it is to make sure you’re boosted.

The WCHD will hold a COVID-19 reminder campaign between 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Thursday at 555 Towner St. in Ypsilanti.

Appointments are not required, but community members must be online by 3 p.m. in order to receive a boost. Those present must bring their health insurance card.

The health department continues to offer the first round of COVID-19 vaccines. Appointments can be scheduled online here or by calling 734-544-6700. Flu shots can be requested during COVID-19 reminder appointments.

Learn more about the flu at washtenaw.org/flu and more information about COVID-19 at washtenaw.org/COVID-19

Check out these prevention tips from the Department of Health:

  • to get vaccinated

  • stay home when sick

  • cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing

  • wash your hands with warm water and soap

  • thoroughly disinfect surfaces

Find more prevention strategies here.

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